Other credos 6.7
No religion 19.2
Protestantism. Abortion is not categorically condemned in Prostestantism, but neither is it liberally permitted. According to the 1966 pronouncement by the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States (107), "Protestant Christians are agreed in condemning abortion or any method which destroys human life except when the health or life of the mother is at stake. The destruction of life already begun cannot be condoned as a method of family limitation." However, certain denominations have taken more permissive stands (108, 109). In perhaps the most permissive statement of all, the 1968 American Baptist Convention urged that legislation be enacted to provide (a) "That the termination of a pregnancy prior to the end of the twelfth week or first trimester be at the request of the individual(s) concerned and be regarded as an elective medical procedure governed by the laws regulating medical practice and licensure"; and (b) "After that period, the termination of a pregnancy shall be performed only by a duly licensed physician at the request of the individual(s) concerned, in a regularly licensed hospital for one of the reasons as suggested by the Model Penal Code of the American Law Institute. . . . Further we encourage our churches to provide sympathetic and realistic counseling on family planning and abortion" (110).
Islam. Islam is liberal in theory whereas in practice Muslim countries are much less tolerant of abortion. The masses of Muslim people are not aware of the liberal position of their religion because it has not been publicized; and because conservative members of the religious hierarchy have imposed unimaginative and restrictive interpretations of the Islamic tradition.
TABLE 15 Induced Abortion by Religion, Mexico3
Religion Interviewed Abortion Percent
Catholic 937 287 30.6
Other or none 63 20 32.7
Total 1,000 307 30.7
aThe exact date of the survey is not given.
Source: Based on interviews of 1,000 women patients of the clinic of the Asociacion Mexicana Pro-Bienestar de la Familia (50).mparison of attitudes toward family planning by religious affiliation in the United States and Australia.